Could Zika virus cause athletes to skip the Olympics?

(ABC News)–The threat to Americans is real. That’s the guidance of the Center for Disease Control when it comes to the Zika virus.

The CDC and the National Institute of Health joined the White House on Monday to ask Congress for $1.8 billion to fight Zika, which is known to spread through mosquitoes, including a type common in the U.S.

“What we are hearing is that we aren’t ready, there is a lot that has to happen before spring and summer comes and mosquitoes start spreading viruses,” said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor.

$1.4 billion of that money would be used to protect Americans, while $400 million would help combat Zika around the world. In Brazil, the center of the outbreak, many celebrating the first day of the nation’s annual carnival seem undeterred by the threat.

“The atmosphere seems the same as ever,” said Rio de Janeiro citizen Sam Green. “The stuff in the news is a separate thing, really.” That’s a possible preview for August, when Rio will host the Olympic Games. Many athletes say this won’t change their plans.

Health autorities reinforced that despite the growth of Zika, for most, it is just a mild infection. But for pregnant women, it could lead to the profound birth defect called Microephaly, which is why officials want to get ahead of the spread of the virus in the U.S.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s